On Thursday 28th November, Youngcare and Summer Foundation co-hosted the Hospital Discharge Forum 2019 at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. This forum brought together experts from the disability sector including; clinicians, researchers, government bodies and advocates to discuss the current environment of the NDIS, SDA and pathways that exist for people with disabilities from hospital, aged care or rehabilitation back into their community and their homes.
Segment one brought together members of Queenslanders with Disability Network, QLD Health, Department of Housing and Public Works and the NDIA to discuss the current environment and pathways that are in place.
Segment two saw clinicians from Summer Foundation and Metro North Hospital and Health and Youngcare discuss the practicality behind creating pathways home for people with disabilities. They spoke about the importance of educating the clinician sector, and working with the NDIS and support coordinators to better understand what is needed from each side to ensure that the individuals requiring support remain at the forefront of the scheme.
The first Q&A saw the group answering questions about the interfaces between hospital and health staff, and the NDIS. They covered what is important for clinicians, support workers and occupational therapists to understand in order to get the most for the individual, and what process need to be implemented to ensure that responsibility falls to the appropriate person. This discussion included process for capacity building, a deeper understanding of what is required from health staff and how the NDIS can have a more efficient interface with a group of staff who are at present overworked.
Segment three saw Summer Housing’s Robin Zakharov outlining what SDA is in detail. She also helped to understand demand, in terms of an individual’s needs and preferences for housing. The second Q&A covered specialist disability accommodation, allowing the social workers and clinicians in the room to understand available housing models and particular considerations for each individual. Each panel member discussed different availabilities, from social housing, new SDA builds, private tenanting, shared living models and how to pick a verified SDA provider.
Segment four was a practical example of how, with the support of a Youngcare Home Support Grant, Dramalei was able to move out of hospital and into her new home. Her social worker Rachel Hewett from MNHHS and support coordinator Angela Richardson from Rehability are an example of the processes and interface working well, and resulting in the ultimate outcome of a young person with disability being able to return home with her two sons.
“There is always hope that’s all I had to hold onto in hospital. It almost drove me crazy but I’m here now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m coming through it now.” – Dramalei
In segment five, Penny Paul senior policy and research officer from Summer Foundation discussed the discharge planning and support coordination interface, providing clinicians with a detailed insight into what support coordinators and NDIS language entails.
“We have a critical role to play in developing with this new system and provide better outcomes” – Penny Paul
The final segment, segment six, focused on discussing tools for improving pathways for people with complex care needs. Members from the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, the Office of the Public Guardian, the Princess Alexandra Hospital and the Aged Care Assessment Team discussed the pointy ends of choice and control around aged care, impaired communication or mental capacity and how to best deliver these ideals within their capacity. They also spoke to the matter of chronic disease and how these people connect to the NDIS, and what elements are important for the individuals themselves to understand. The need to explore ACAT alternatives and alternate pathways are essential in the current climate.
The forum was an informative day which provided invaluable insight into the industry, challenging workers to think of innovative models to work in with the NDIS, whilst keeping participants and individuals at the centre of everything that they do.